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My Garden Diary

May and June 2018

Copyright © 2018 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site. 7

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017
July-August 2017
September-October 2017
November-December 2017
January-February 2018
March-April 2018

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates without years refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear — including entries on prior pages for the same year — unless a different year is given.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
15 June

Mostly cloudy and overcast, occasional hazy sun, and mild; in other words, June gloom

Temp: 60-87
Humidity: 47%
Wind: 3-10

Went to the local post office to buy stamps. A new issue is a "peace" forever stamp. The image on the stamp is a 'Peace' rose.

Trimmed the pineapple guava some more (13 Jun and earlier).

Wanted to continue trimming the edges of the path between the back lawn and the rose bed (also 13 Jun). However, the sprinklers ran early in the morning; and the ground cover in the rose bed and the red fescue lawn (Festuca rubra) failed to dry sufficiently.


Rain —
This rain-year: 7.12
Days since last: 16

13 June

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 62-93
Humidity: 22%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.12
Days since last: 14

Trimmed the Podocarpus at the west corner of the garage some more (23 May). It was again interfering not only with the overhead garage door but also with the walkway that leads from the driveway around the house to the back yard.

Started trimming another lavender in the circular bed (1, 3, & 6 Jun).

Continued trimming the pineapple guava (3 Jun).

Continued trimming the edge of the path between the rose bed and lawn. I also cleared some of the ground cover — pink clover (Persicaria capitata) and cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana) — from around the 'Color Magic' rose and a clump of blue fescue (Festuca glauca). As I work along the rose bed, I try to remove as much of the cinquefoil as possible without making that my primary effort; the cinquefoil was accidentally introduced into the rose bed and can overwhelm even the pink clover.

10 June

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 62-82
Humidity: 27%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.12
Days since last: 11

Climbed My Hill, something I never do unless I can accomplish more than only one task.
  • Groomed the grape vines, tying some of the long shoots to the supporting wires and cutting some of the other shoots.
  • Spot-sprayed herbicide on seedling ash and elm trees and other weeds.
  • Trimmed some of the Rhaphiolepis 'Majestic Beauty' where those shrubs were blocking the hill sprinklers.

When done, I still had some herbicide in my sprayer. I sprayed some pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) in the camellia and east beds in back and a mixture of weeds growing in the seam between the concrete gutter and asphalt street in front.

6 June

High, thin haze; hazy sun; and mild

Temp: 53-75
Humidity: 57%
Wind: 4-14

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.12
Week: 0.01

June gloom is here! The morning was quite overcast and cool. I removed weeds that were growing between the bricks in the brick panel in front. Then, I planted the lavender that I started from a cutting (3 Jun).

Yesterday, I collected columbine seeds from faded flowers in a public garden. Today, I scattered them in my east bed in back and then scattered some of the "fallout" from my neighbor's Italian cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) over the same area as a fine mulch.

Moved the potted sage, basil, and dill (23 May) from the patio to the broad intersection of paths where I have other herbs.

Trimmed another lavender in the circular bed (3 & 6 Jun).

3 June

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 60-91
Humidity: 33%
Wind: 3-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.12
Week: 0.01

Scattered some 27-0-6 fertilizer on parts of the front lawn, which is pink clover (Persicaria capitata) and not grass. I targeted the edges of the bare patches and isolated plants in the bare patches in order to promote more growth that should cover those areas.

Arggh!! I forgot to enter into my calendar when I should feed the dwarf citrus. They should have been fed three times since the first feeding (18 Mar). Today, I fed them with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates. I also fed the gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii') and Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) with the same. On recommendation from the landscaper who planted it, I also gave the tea tree some Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate).

Finished trimming the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender in the circular bed (1 Jun). Two others there need trimming.

The potted lavender cutting (4 May) now has extensive roots and is ready to put into the ground. I plan to plant it in the brick panel in front, but I am waiting until we get some June gloom to minimize stressing the plant. However, the 'Simply Marvelous' rose cutting that I potted at the same time has not yet grown enough to plant in the ground.

Hacked away at the pineapple guava (27 May and earlier) some more.

1 June

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 52-78
Humidity: 38%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.12
Week: 0.01

Tied down two new canes of the climbing 'Peace' rose in back. The main canes of this climber are tied to screw eyes embedded in the top of a low slough wall. I will do the same to the new climbing 'Don Juan' rose when it developes long canes.

Partially trimmed one of the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) that is crowding an adjacent azalea (Rhododendron indica) and partially blocking the path around the circular bed. The green trash bin for the county's composting program was quite full, so I will have to finish this trimming another day.

Trimmed the edges of the path between the lawn and rose bed. I also trimmed around three sprinkler heads in the lawn and around the potted dwarf kumquat (Citrus margarita).

The dwarf tangelo has leaf miners, so I drenched the soil around it with a systemic insecticide.

28 May

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 53-82
Humidity: 40%
Wind: 3-12

The all-green pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum 'Jade') in the breakfast room lost some older leaves, making it look somewhat threadbare. I put up two cuttings.

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.11
Days since last: 27

27 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 51-77
Humidity: 44%
Wind: 2-14

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.11
Days since last: 26

Yesterday, the loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica 'MacBeth') showed signs of fireblight. I cut away the affected branches, cutting into what looked like healthy wood and disinfecting my shears after each cut by dipping them into laundry bleach. I hope this is not going to be an ongoing battle. I like the way the tree appears, and I really enjoy the fruit.

The Aloe vera cuttings (25 Mar) are well rooted. I discarded the parent plant and potted the cuttings.

Put up two Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium) cuttings. I need to replace two plants that died.

Drenched the soil around the peach tree (Prunus persica 'Santa Barbara') with a systemic insecticide. This is one of the few times I apply poison as a preventative, in an attempt to stop flat-headed borers from damaging the tree. Of course, I had to wait until the tree finished blossoming so that injury to bees would be minimized.

Continued pruning the pineapple guava (13 May) and made progress in trimming the edges of the paths in the back (23 May).

23 May

Overcast and then part-cloudy, gray and then sunny, cool and then mild

Temp: 52-72
Humidity: 68%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.11
Days since last: 22

Several years ago, I planted three columbines (Aquilegia hybrids) in the east bed in back. Since then, I have had to replace one or another that died. I did that again today.

Fed the roses with a commercial fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide.

Both the potted basil (Ocimum basilicum, 1 Apr) and sage (Salvia officinalis, 29 Oct 2017) died. I potted replacements along with dill (Anethum graveolens).

The red fscue lawn (Festuca rubra) in back grew so fast that, where I had trimmed it along the western path (8 Apr), I had to trim it again. I have not yet finished trimming the edges of the paths. I also cut a few branches from the dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta') in the west bed that were growing out over the path.

Trimmed the Podocarpus and eugenia (Syzygium paniculatum) that flank the driveway in front. They were interfering with opening and closing the overhead garage door.

Trimmed the potted weeping Chinese banyan (Ficus benjamina) on the front porch. It extended more than halfway acress the porch, interfering with people entering and leaving the house.

17 May

Clear and then cloudy, sunny and then gray, and mild

Temp: 50-73
Humidity: 47%
Wind: 0-11

Planted a statice (also known as sea lavender, Limonium perezii) in the east bed in back to replace one that died.

Planted two pink Cuphea hyssopifolia in the teardrop bed (also in back) to replace some that died. I also severely trimmed the pink clover (Persicaria capitata) where it was aggressively crowding the remaining Cuphea.


Rain —
This rain-year: 7.11
Days since last: 16

13 May

Mostly clear in the afternoon, sunny, and mild

Temp: 49-75
Humidity: 45%
Wind: 0-12

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.11
Days since last: 12

In the past few days, we have had some drizzle and heavy mist but not enough to be measurable.

Sprayed a grass-specific herbicide on the lower portions of My Hill. I am very allergic to grass pollen, and my hay fever has almost been disabiling. Thus, this was a self-defence effort.

Pruned more of the pineapple guava. Now I can see that it has indeed been cut, but there is much more to do.

4 May

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 59-90
Humidity: 17%
Wind: 0-14

Rain —
This rain-year: 7.11
Week: 0.02

Potted the rooted cuttings of Goodwin Creek Grey lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) (I do not remember when it was first taken.) and 'Simply Marvelous' floribunda rose (8 Apr). The rooting medium for both was half peat moss and half coarse sand without any nutrients. The potting medium repeated that mix plus small amounts of blood meal, bone meal, and iron sulfate along with a little compost. The compost provides soil bacteria that make the nutrients available to the plant roots.

Started pruning the pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana) in back. This is another shrub that should have been cut last year. I filled the green waste bin for the county's composting program, but the guava does not yet look like anything was cut.

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Rain-year is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
March-April 2018
January-February 2018
November-December 2017
September-October 2017
July-August 2017
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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